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The future will not be nuclear

The government is pinning its hopes on a nuclear renaissance to meet Britain's climate change goals. Planning procedures are being eased and hidden subsidies offered. But the policy is based on a misunderstanding of nuclear power's lousy economics, and will fail

By Tom Burke   September 2008

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Gordon Brown does not dither about nuclear power. His commitment to it is emphatic, advancing since the start of the year from a policy of simply replacing Britain’s existing nuclear capacity to one of doubling it, and now to there being no upper limit to its share of electricity generation. Brown has undertaken a radical reform of the nuclear regulatory and planning processes, aimed at clearing the path for new reactors. It is therefore particularly poignant that this is a policy doomed to fail.

Energy prices are rising, the…

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